Canada Alaska Railway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Canada Alaska Railway is a proposed railway line linking the Alaska Railroad near Fairbanks, Alaska to a railway line in northern British Columbia through the Yukon.[1]

First attempts[edit]

The first way to the Yukon was proposed by the Edmonton, Yukon and Pacific around the turn of the 20th century however it got amalgamated Canadian Northern without any progress on the northern extension.

BC Rail expansion[edit]

In the 1960s, a new line had been projected to run northwest from Fort St. James to Dease Lake, 412 miles (663 km) and eventually on to Alaska. On October 15, 1973, the first 125 miles (201 km) of the extension to Lovell were opened. The cost of the line was significantly greater than what was estimated, however. Contractors working on the remainder of the line alleged that the railway had misled them regarding the amount of work required so that it could obtain low bids, and took the railway to court.

The Dease Lake line was starting to appear increasingly uneconomical. There was a world decline in the demand for asbestos and copper, two main commodities that would be hauled over the line. As well, the Cassiar Highway that already served Dease Lake had recently been upgraded. Combined with the increasing construction costs, the Dease Lake line could no longer be justified. Construction stopped on April 5, 1977. Track had been laid to Jackson, 263 miles (423 km) past Fort St. James, and clearing and grading were in progress on the rest of the extension. It had cost $168 million to that point, well over twice the initial estimate. The trackbed can be seen on Google Earth all the way to Dease Lake, via the small towns of Leo Creek and Takla Landing.

Currently proposed lines[edit]

A study was carried out by the Yukon and Alaska Governments into the feasibility of building such a railroad in 2005.[2][clarification needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dowd, Allan (June 21, 2007). "Economic study touts Alaska-Canada rail link". Reuters. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Alaska Canada Rail Link Phase 1". Yukon Government.